"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

30 April 2014

2014 Book Review #16: Once We Were Brothers

Another excellent book is behind me.

But the storyline lives on in my mind.

This book is for the historical fiction fan.  I loved it.  It left an impact about the Holocaust.  It is excellently written.


Ben Solomon is in his early 80s.  He is a survivor of the Holocaust in Poland.  His father and mother stayed in Poland even when presented with the chance to get away.

Ben lives in Chicago and it is 2004.  He is getting ready to go to a local fundraiser for the city opera.

Elliot Rosenzweig is also getting ready for the fundraiser. He is a very well respected leader in the city of Chicago and very wealthy.  He is known as a generous philanthropist. Ben accosts Elliot at the fundraiser and claims that he is really Otto Piatek.  Otto was known as "the butcher of Zamosc".  Elliot of course is stunned and denounces this accusation as being totally ridiculous. He says Ben is delusional and/or getting him mixed up with the real Otto Piatek.

But Ben is certain.  He hires a young lawyer named Catherine Lockhart to bring Elliot to justice.  Ben says that Elliot really is Otto Piatek who was abandoned by his German parents as a child, and raised by the Solomon family.  But when Otto became a young man, he betrayed the family during the Nazi occupation in Poland.

Has Ben Solomon accused the right man.......or the wrong man??


This is an excellent story about survival, family love, 2 lives intertwined, young love that endures through the most horrific cruelty ever to invade our world, and life in war-torn Poland.

The book was in 3 parts.  The Confrontation, Ben Solomon's Story, and The Lawsuit.

The author did a great job in the way he told the back-story and history of the Solomon and Piatek families. He had Ben share the story via interview with Catharine.  It was so well done, in conversation style and didn't get bogged down like many historical novels do.  As an avid reader of historical fiction, this one is one of the best I've ever read.

You will cry.  You will cheer.  You will gasp.  You will feel a triumph of spirit that resonates throughout this entire story.

It is a very powerful and moving book.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 14 and older.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 12. :)


Susanne said...

Going on my list for sure!

Melanie Lopata said...

Oh my gosh this one looks GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm reading the newest Terri Blackstock right now then I may have to skip over the other books on my list (from your reviews!) and read this one first :)

Faith said...

Melanie and Susanne, you both will love this book!!!!